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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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of the Kremlin as a leader, and for Russia as a State.   The great pre-
parations for a war, and the experiment of converting the * Gold Horde
into a Steel Horde * proved, when the test came, to be obviously inade-
quate.   Despite their gigantic efforts, the Soviets, short of intellectuals
exterminated in the purges, and working with under-nourished em-
ployees in the factories, with an army surcharged with useless political
apparatus and thinking in the terms ofe class warfare,*' world revolution *
and * Communism,' were considerably weaker than Germany.   Russia
alone could not arrest or defeat llitler.   Therefore, the Kremlin, who
for over two years had coldly and contemptuously brushed aside Britain's
hand extended to her in friendship, over and over again, was now forced
to ask for help, to look around for Allies.   A complete right-about face !
Russia, while working unitedly with Germany, had been supplying her
with raw materials; now the Soviets were obliged to ask Britain and the
U.S.A. to send her armaments.   Enormous as the Russian stocks of
weapons had been, all the supplies of the front and second line armies
were lost during those first few months.   The chaos existing on the
railways was so grear that, although the Soviets possessed a vast quantity
of war material behind the Ural, it seemed more straight-forward to
import from abroad.   Thus the British and, afterwards, the American
convoys, escorted partly by Polish warships and with the goods partly
carried on Polish merchantmen (such were the strange vagaries of history),
began to carry supplies to Russia over the Northern Route,*
This sudden change of front, this change-over from enemy to friend,
this reversal in the direction of the streams of war supplies, could pass
unquestioned in Russia, where the word of the Kremlin's master was law,
but it was not sufficient for Britain, for the U.S.A., and for the whole
world, who found it impossible to forget over-night the former attitude
of the Soviets during the past two years of war.
Stalin's first action to dispel the mistrust of the peoples of the United
Nations against Moscow was to change the slogans of his foreign policy,
to apparently renounce the imperialist claims of Russia. During that
period of the Russians* vsdthdrawal on the front, it was obviously much
more advantageous for the Soviets to adopt the role of the * victim of an
unexpected aggression/ Therefore, the Kremlin remodelled its previous
views on the war-aims of the Allies. The anti-German Powers, after
two years of bloody struggle, impeded heretofore by the actions of Russia,
were now no longer waging an *e imperialist war " in the eyes of that
same country, but were fighting a " defensive and just war/' When the
Germans had surrounded Leningrad on three sides and were approaching
Moscow (Lenin's coffin had been hastily removed to a place of safety),
Stalin made a speech on October 6, the Anniversary of the Revolution.
* An account of this convoy work can be found in B. Pawlowicz's diary of a
* Convoy to Russia,' see O.R.P. Garland, London, 1943.